Though we were silent about our despair in front of Matthew, Geoff and I did wonder privately (between bouts of laughter as we watched his pirouettes and arabesques) if he would ever evidence an interest in baseball...or any other sport, for that matter. No one was more surprised than us when Matthew announced this spring that he would again like to play baseball. When we asked him if he was sure, he said that he loved baseball and that he couldn't wait. Taking a cue from my brother, who is of the opinion that kids need to be exposed to sports for several years before they will translate interest into any level of skill, we duly signed him up for a second year this spring. Yesterday was his last game of the season.
And what a different season this was from last year. Matthew was a kid on fire for baseball! For a six year old kid, he showed a really great aptitude, I think. No more ballet in the field for this kid! No more dandelion hunts. No more half-hearted attempts to follow his coach's lead; when coach Craig called, Matthew was off like a shot, practically ready to throw the coach a salute. He stood on guard at first base with his eyes glued on the batter and ball, and stood poised to throw that ball home when it came to him. His throwing has improved about one hundred fold. I've been totally shocked by how far and precisely he can suddenly throw the ball this year; every week he can throw farther and more accurately. Most important, it's been great seeing him have so much fun and putting so much effort into it - and it was a lot of fun for Geoff and me, too, especially when we helped out at whatever base we were needed (to make sure the kids knew where they were going!).
Next year, if he wants to play baseball again, I'll be all over it, too!
In the ready position...and waiting for the ball to come his way:
Pre-game strategy session with the coach (we heard them talking about how many freezies they'd get after the game):
...and putting his all into the throw!
Getting ready to head out to the bases (note: Matthew is second in line behind the coach, rather than lagging behind somewhere, or lying down enjoying a rest from all of the hard work):
Here, coach Craig is having the kids put up their right hands (some of them have a little trouble identifying which hand that is!) so that they can get ready to slap hands with the opposing team, and congratulate them on a good game:
Here's my little honey:
* Thank you for your comments - and yes, I, too, LOVE the photo of his throwing the ball, and the whole-body effort that he puts into it! Sheldon, Matthew (and Geoff and I) loved having you and Hilary out to one of his baseball games last week. When we went to his last game yesterday, he was looking for you guys! I think he liked having an audience that was more than 'just' Geoff and me. Thanks again for being there. You guys are so great with kids...I can hardly wait til you're home with your own and we're coming to YOUR kids' baseball games someday.